Phnom Penh’s Creative Hospitality Scene: A Conversation with Nik

A new wave of hospitality is emerging, spearheaded by individuals like Nik Wilson. He is the mastermind behind renowned retro-themed food hub Garage Sale and cocktail bar Tic Tic, that takes you on an adventure through fine spirits, delicious alcoholic creations, gaming, cult movies, quiz nights, an eclectic but specialist music policy and beyond.

His journey in the Phnom Penh hospitality and F&B scene is marked by creativity, passion, and a commitment to providing unique experiences. In this exclusive interview, Nik shares insights into his ventures, dreams, and his contribution to the community.

Nik’s journey in the hospitality industry spans continents, from London to Los Angeles. He brings a wealth of expertise to Phnom Penh, blending his experiences in the pulsating nightlife scenes of these cities. “I’ve always believed in creating, marketing, and promoting unique brands,” Nik reflects. His ventures under Anti Social Hours Co LTD reflect his diverse interests, from the retro charm of Garage Sale to the innovative concept of Tic Tic. Despite the challenges posed by the global pandemic, Nik’s resilience and adaptability fueled his entrepreneurial spirit, leading to the birth of his culinary and entertainment empire.

A Dream Fueled by Creativity

Since its inception in April 2022, Nik’s vision for his businesses has been clear—to carve a niche in Phnom Penh’s hospitality landscape while fostering a culture of creativity and inclusivity. “Hospitality is about hosting people, creating experiences, and leaving a lasting impression,” Nik remarks. The timing of Nik’s foray into the industry aligns with his philosophy of embracing the present moment. “The allure of Cambodia coupled with the opportunity to shape its hospitality scene made it the perfect time to embark on this journey,” Nik explains.

At the heart of Nik’s businesses lies a commitment to nurturing talent and fostering a sense of belonging among his team members. “We prioritize inclusivity, open communication, and fair remuneration for our staff,” Nik emphasizes. Moreover, Nik’s ventures serve as platforms for cultural exchange and community engagement, enriching the cultural fabric of Phnom Penh.

Outside the box thinking

What sets Nik’s establishments apart is their commitment to creativity and uniqueness. From handcrafted furniture to vintage gaming consoles, each element exudes character and charm. “We’re not just bars and restaurants; we’re hubs of creativity and expression,” Nik affirms. His passion for music permeates every aspect of his businesses, creating an immersive experience for patrons.

Beyond serving as entertainment venues, Nik’s businesses are catalysts for community building and market diversification. “Our goal is to create spaces where people from all walks of life can come together, share experiences, and forge meaningful connections,” Nik explains. Through initiatives like Cult Movie Mondays and collaborations with local artists, Nik contributes to Phnom Penh’s cultural landscape while offering a refreshing alternative to mainstream entertainment.

A Personal Connection to Cambodia

For Nik, Cambodia is more than just a business destination; it’s a place he proudly calls home. “My fiancée and our little dog, Smell, provide a sense of stability and joy amidst the chaos of running multiple businesses,” Nik shares with a smile. As he envisions a future nestled by the Sangkae River in Battambang, Nik’s commitment to Cambodia remains unwavering. “Cambodia has captured my heart with its natural beauty and vibrant culture,” Nik concludes.

In the tapestry of Phnom Penh’s hospitality scene, Nik’s ventures stand as beacons of creativity, diversity, and community engagement. Through Garage Sale and Tic Tic, he not only offers culinary delights and entertainment but also cultivates a sense of belonging and connection—a testament to the transformative power of hospitality.

Tom Starkey
Author: Tom Starkey

Tom Starkey is an International Development graduate from Sussex University with 12-years of experience across 4 continents, Tom's goal is that he wants to showcase his love for Cambodia, where he lives, works and now happily calls home.